A new Forbes report on the best states for business ranks Maine in its bottom 10 at number 44.
Th latest edition of the ranking, which has been released every year since 2006, examines 40 metrics in six categories: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. An explanation of the methodology helps to provide insights on the rankings.
• Maine was 43rd for business costs, which factored Moody’s Analytics Cost of Doing Business index – including labor, energy and taxes – as well as information from the Tax Foundation.
• The state’s highest ranking in the six categories was 27th for labor supply, which used education data from the Census Bureau. Also considered: net migration and projected population growth; amount of workforce with union representation, and population percentage between ages 25 and 34.
• Maine’s poorest showing was 48th for regulatory environment, which looked at metrics influenced by the government. Along with the Cato Institute’s “Freedom in the 50 States” report, this category looked at the liability system, property rights, health insurance and the labor market.
Other data came from Moody’s bond rating on general obligation debt, plus infrastructure of air, rail and highway systems. Further data was furnished by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, a Mercatus Center assessment of fiscal health, and employment discrimination ratings from the Movement Advancement Project.
• For economic climate, Maine was ranked closer to the midpoint, at number 34. This category factored in job, income and gross state product growth, as well as the unemployment rate. The number of major corporations headquartered in Maine also was considered.
• Maine neared the midpoint of the list with its number 28 ranking for growth prospects, which used data from Moody’s Analytics, Emsi, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Kauffman Foundation, to gauge job, income and gross state product growth in the next five years.
• For quality of life, Maine garnered another ranking of 34. Many factors were used in this category, including cost of living, school performance and crime figures. Higher education, culture and recreation opportunities also played a part, as did commute times and health statistics.
The results for nearby states was mixed. Vermont was ranked right after Maine, at number 45, while New Hampshire fared better, at number 25. Massachusetts was 19th in the ranking.